A Kentucky University Makes ACT and SAT Scores Optional for Admission

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Spalding University is changing its undergraduate admissions policy by making it optional for prospective students  to include ACT or SAT scores when applying. 

The new policy begins immediately with applications for the fall 2020 freshmen.  The change makes Spalding the first four-year nonprofit university in Louisville to adopt the test-optional policy for undergraduate admissions.

As a diverse community of learners, Spalding is proud to be the first institution of its kind in Louisville to adopt a test-optional undergraduate admissions policy, and we are excited to provide students interested in attending Spalding with an additional means to show they have the qualifications to succeed in college,” the faculty members of the Undergraduate Admissions Committee said in a joint statement. “We have to assume there have been some students without high ACT and SAT scores who have been reluctant to apply because they know (those scores are) a barrier, and they don’t even bother with the process. Otherwise, they are capable students who we would like to see apply. A test-optional application eliminates that barrier and empowers many students with good grades to know that regardless of a standardized test score, they can still attend college and thrive when they get there.”

The school believes this new policy expands student access to higher education and is consistent with its social-justice mission.  Spalding says it values students’ entire profile and realizes future academic success is not solely predicated by a single test score. 

Spalding’s test-optional policy is intended to remove admissions barriers for students whose ACT or SAT scores may not be as high because they lack resources or because they take the test multiple times.

“Often we are putting the students who don’t have those resources at a concerted disadvantage,” said Dr. Matthew Elder, Spalding Director of Undergraduate Admissions.

Test scores are used at Spalding for consideration of merit-based scholarships, though test-optional students are also eligible to apply for these merit scholarships.

“Spalding strives every day to meet the needs of the times in finding ways to make college affordable and accessible to good students who are eager to learn and make a positive change in the world,” President Tori Murden McClure said. “With its decision to implement this new admissions policy, Spalding’s Undergraduate Admissions Committee is helping our university carry out its mission.”